I spent this weekend at a writers’ conference. From the time I got there, through the two workshops I taught, to the spectacular dinner and closing time, I had this incredible feeling of gratitude. I kept thinking, I’m so glad I’m here.
And you know what I meant. I wasn’t just glad to be enjoying the conference, I was truly glad to be there. There, breathing the air, moving my limbs, thinking…living.
Since my cardiac arrest in January, this feeling comes over me quite frequently. It’s a rush of joy, even excitement, simply to be walking around. At the conference when folks talked to me, or I entered a room to hear a speaker, or sat down next to a writing friend at a meal, I was filled with happy anticipation. It reminds of a kid going to Baskin Robbins. Yup, that’s how happy I felt, like I got to eat ice cream all day long for two days (without the bloating and sugar blahs—just the fun part).
It was awesome, but on the drive home, somewhere on Interstate 405, the adrenaline high transformed to exhaustion. I was very tired. I’m still recovering from the cardiac arrest, and a weekend of so much glorious excitement requires a few days of rest. My family and I expected that.
But to be honest, as I’ve returned to my normal routine, I’ve been more than just weary. The giddy gratitude slipped away and I found myself feeling bogged down, sullen, even grumpy.
Wiping snotty noses.
Not as thrilling as an action-packed writing weekend. At least that’s what I was thinking as I drudged through my day … but then, thanks be to God, I remembered! All of these things do burst with excitement. Yes, they do! Why? Because I’m here to do them with my wonderful kids. I could've lost these hours and days. Someone else would've been folding their laundry or dabbing away angry tears. It's an honor to serve them. A gift. A gift to relish and treasure. A gift I wouldn't trade for anything.
I’m incredibly grateful for a wonderful weekend, but being a mommy’s way more thrilling than going to a writers’ conference. In fact, it’s even better than ice cream, because the joy of walking this mommy's journey with them is the greatest reason to “be here” of all.